NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 1997 — Today at Fall Internet World ’97, Microsoft Corp. announced Microsoft® BackOffice® Server 4.0, a complete, integrated server suite that makes it easy to build, manage and deploy powerful Web and line-of-business applications. Building on overwhelming customer and channel momentum, this new release includes the latest versions of Microsoft server applications and now adds Microsoft Site Server and Seagate Crystal Info for the first time. BackOffice Server 4.0 also delivers new suite-level features like integrated setup, Web administration and an intranet starter site, providing a comprehensive Web-enabled platform that is intranet-ready and supports the demands of corporate computing environments.
Building upon the success of Windows NT® Server operating system version 4.0, the BackOffice platform has experienced tremendous growth in licensing. For example, 25 million BackOffice family client licenses are in use within today’s installed base of 90 million corporate PCs. BackOffice Server shipments have grown tenfold over the past 18 months, with more than 40 global corporations and government agencies deploying 200 or more BackOffice Servers in their organizations. Moreover, more than 20 leading banking, manufacturing and government organizations are deploying 10,000 seats or more using the cost-effective BackOffice client access license. Companies such as Charles Schwab and Company Inc., Nautica Apparel Inc. and America West Airlines rely on BackOffice products for critical intranet and line-of-business applications like financial analysis, sales tracking and online reservations.
Growth in customer deployment of BackOffice has resulted in unprecedented developer and channel support. The number of solutions bearing the Designed for Microsoft BackOffice logo has grown five times, to a total of 550, in the past 24 months. The logo program represents the highest level of integration on the BackOffice platform. Today, leading application developers like The Baan Co., PC Docs Inc. and JD Edwards & Co. also announced their support of BackOffice Server 4.0. In addition, the reseller channel is committed to the BackOffice platform: more than 40,000 value added provider personnel in the United States have attended hands-on training on BackOffice family products in the past 12 months and nearly 25,000 professionals worldwide are certified for these products. Leading service providers such as Digital Equipment Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Andersen Consulting, KPMG, Ernst & Young LLP and Vanstar Corp. have formed practices focused on providing enterprise solutions built on the BackOffice platform to their customers.
“As customers look to drive down cost of ownership and simplify their IT infrastructure, we see the BackOffice suite becoming the branch office and departmental standard in a growing number of organizations,” said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the personal and business systems group at Microsoft. “The success of these customer deployments validates our BackOffice Server strategy of offering the broadest range of integrated server components, from Web publishing and collaboration to integration with mainframe transaction systems.”
New BackOffice Server 4.0 Features
BackOffice Server 4.0 contains the most recent versions of the BackOffice family as well as suite-specific features such as intelligent, scenario-based setup for automatically configuring an intranet publishing or collaboration server, Web-based administration and an intranet starter site. The starter site and sample applications help customers learn how to build Web applications that integrate database, collaboration and personalization services.
“BackOffice Server significantly reduces our cost of ownership,” said Mike Culp, senior vice president at Wheat First Butcher Singer, a full-service brokerage firm with over $35 billion in assets. “Integrated administration allows us to centrally manage user accounts and software upgrades for 128 branch office locations with only two people. The broad range of services in the suite allows us to leverage an existing AS/400-based quote system and deliver consistent communications and messaging environment to end users.”
“Customers are looking for server solutions that integrate the administration of critical infrastructure services while providing a platform for a variety of applications,” said Jamie Lewis, president of the Burton Group. “Because it provides that integration, and does so at an aggressive price point, Microsoft BackOffice is experiencing tremendous growth.”
Comprehensive Server Suite Features
BackOffice Server 4.0 includes the following components:
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0
Microsoft Windows NT Option Pack, including Internet Information Server 4.0, Microsoft Transaction Server and Microsoft Message Queue Server
Microsoft FrontPage® 98 Web site creation and management tool (single-user)
Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5
Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0
Microsoft SNA Server 4.0
Microsoft SQL Server 6.5
Microsoft Site Server 3.0 (when available)
Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.2
Seagate Crystal Info 5.0 (five-user)
Pricing and Availability
The BackOffice Server 4.0 suite and client access license provide the simplest and most cost-effective way to license and use the entire BackOffice family of products. The estimated retail price of BackOffice Server 4.0 starts at $2,499 for the server suite license and $1,309 for five-client access licenses. Server upgrade pricing for customers of BackOffice 2.5 is estimated at $879, with no client access license upgrade required for BackOffice 2.0 or 2.5 customers. General availability is expected in late January 1998. Additional information on BackOffice Server is available at the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/backofficeserver/ .
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